NEWS

BlackBerry denies Samsung takeover report

01/14/2015 03:58 EST | Updated 03/16/2015 05:59 EDT
BlackBerry is denying a report that Korean smartphone giant Samsung has approached it with a takeover offer.

"BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry," the company said in a statement this evening.

"BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumours or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further."

BlackBerry shares surge

Shares of BlackBerry were up as much as 30 per cent in late trading on Wednesday, after Reuters reported Samsung approached the Canadian company with a takeover offer.

BlackBerry shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange closed at $15.02, up $3.42 from the previous day's closing price.

Samsung could offer as much as $7.5 billion for the company based in Waterloo, Ont., looking to gain access to its patent portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.

'A real deal' for Samsung

"If they get [BlackBerry], Samsung's got themselves a real deal," said Ross Healy, a senior portfolio manager at MacNicol and Associates Asset Management, in an interview with CBC News.

Healy cited BlackBerry's cash holdings, patent portfolio and secure networking technology as potential assets for Samsung.

A serious bid from Samsung could attract attention from other potential buyers, said Healy, especially Google.

"The cost of BlackBerry would be chump change for that company."

Another analyst said a marriage between BlackBerry and Samsung would be mutually beneficial.

"These are two companies that have had significant dealings up until now," said independent technology analyst Carmi Levy in an interview with CBC News.

"BlackBerry announced a partnership with Samsung to bring security based products to market," added Levy. "So they are familiar with each other, they have worked with each other before, there are lots of opportunities for what the business calls 'synergies' between them, where they can leverage off of each other's business."

If the Samsung bid is more than just rumour, it would face scrutiny from the Canadian government. Industry Canada previously rejected a potential takeover bid for BlackBerry by Chinese technology company Lenovo.

A spokesman for Industry Minister James Moore told CBC News today that "Industry Canada does not comment on speculation or rumours."

Details of rumoured deal

South Korea's Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 per cent to 60 per cent over BlackBerry's current trading price, the source told Reuters.

The offer price would imply an enterprise value of $6 billion to $7.5 billion for BlackBerry, assuming conversion of $1.25 billion of convertible debt, according to the documents.

Executives from the two companies, which are working with advisers, met last week to discuss a potential transaction, the source said, asking not to be identified because the conversations are private.

Samsung could not be immediately reached for comment.

MORE:cbcNews